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Poster: guyzilla Date: Aug 13, 2009 10:15pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are Star Trek Bloopers OK?

You've made some good points. If "The Cage" is the unpublished episode you're referring to, which didn't air in it's original form for more than 20 years, one reason it may have won it's copyright may have been that it was published in a re-edited form (the two part episode, "The Menagerie"). Another may have been it's release by Paramount in a "work print" to home video with some scenes in color and some in black and white, later to be aired completely in color and hosted by Patrick Stewart shortly after the debut of "Star Trek: The Next generation". The work in question shows up in no less than four bloopers vhs tapes I have in my collection, three of which were bought in reputable retail stores like K-mart, and another tape bought through mail order from Something Weird Video during their "pre-Image" days, so these are more likely to be PD. If Paramount ever persued cases on any of these companies, I haven't heard about it, so the any copyright might have been given up. But this all speculation on my part. I like to be sure before I go ahead and put up these clips, so I'll wait a little longer for some more input before I decide one way or the other. Thank you, though. You've given me a lot to think about.

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Poster: Fact_Checker Date: Aug 14, 2009 3:06pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are Star Trek Bloopers OK?

Just to be clear: I was never referring to "The Cage" as an unpublished episode. I specifically wrote about those "that Paramount willingly exhibited" AND "some reels that they (presumably) never authorized to be shown outside the studio."

Video-Cellar correctly recognized that the first group were the first-season episodes; all you had to do was follow the link to the court decision to see that. The second group ("some reels that [Paramount] (presumably) never authorized to be shown...") were the blooper reels.

Guyzilla discusses "The Cage" having been "air[ed] in it's [sic] original form [after] more than 20 years," so it obviously falls into neither of the categories I discussed. Paramount can argue that material in "The Cage" not previously published in "The Menagerie" began copyright in the 1980s, with VHS release and/or television distribution.

It has occurred to me that perhaps Paramount did eventually issue the blooper reels as supplements on DVD (or earlier homevideo format). If so, and if Paramount put on a copyright notice stating that all new material on the tape or disc is copyrighted effective the year of the homevideo edition, they did what they needed to for copyright purposes. This assumes they did so on the first authorized release and assumes also that they hadn't neglected legal action in the past to such an extent that copyright was abandoned. If Paramount's release of the bloopers (if any--I frankly don't know if there has been any authorized release of the bloopers) first occurred during the DVD era, copyright notice and registration wouldn't even be necessary (owing to the change in the laws).

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Poster: quigs Date: Aug 14, 2009 7:06pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are Star Trek Bloopers OK?

That all means, no bloopers, right? Or the un aired pilot, "The Cage".

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Aug 14, 2009 10:56pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are Star Trek Bloopers OK?

No bloopers. Sorry, But I have other clips and movies (see my later thread for the list) that I'm hoping to get through plus later on enough trailers to fill a trailer park! You win some, you lose some!

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Poster: quigs Date: Aug 14, 2009 11:40pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are Star Trek Bloopers OK?

yeah, nice try, though.

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Poster: Plan 9 Date: Aug 28, 2009 2:50pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: I Think the Question is, "Does Paramount Mind?"

..and that the answer is, "Not if the publication of Star Trek clips promotes sales.", and it obviously does!
There are 100s of Star Trek fan sites on the internet which offer multiple clips for download, including blooper reels (not to mention many thousand of copyrighted still images and sound files), yet Paramount/Viacom never goes after any of the sites' owners. Yet never is heard a discouraging word, not even in the case of the gargantuan sites, which are years old.

The possible exceptions here (and I say "possible" because such removal requests appear to only happen at youTube, which I have been informed is a special case) are extras ripped directly, and in *unchanged* form, from one of the DVDs.

Nevertheless, I commend your caution where the reputation of Internet Archives is concerned! I don't think we can ever be too careful about what we upload here.

However, if you have *bootleg* Star Trek blooper tapes, I also think it's a cryin' shame to deprive fans of the pleasure of seeing them, so...if you'd like me to upload them onto my site, I'll happily chance it. It's a relatively small and pathetic excuse for a Star Trek site, since it was never intended to be one, but it apparently gets a couple of thousand hits a month.

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Poster: Fact_Checker Date: Aug 14, 2009 3:19pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are Star Trek Bloopers OK?

Just to be clear: I was never referring to "The Cage" as an unpublished episode. I specifically wrote about those "that Paramount willingly exhibited" AND "some reels that they (presumably) never authorized to be shown outside the studio."

Video-Cellar correctly recognized that the first group were the first-season episodes; all you had to do was follow the link to the court decision to see that. The second group ("some reels that [Paramount] (presumably) never authorized to be shown...") were the blooper reels.

Guyzilla discusses "The Cage" having been "air[ed] in it's [sic] original form [after] more than 20 years," so it obviously falls into neither of the categories I discussed. Paramount can argue that material in "The Cage" not previously published in "The Menagerie" began copyright in the 1980s, with VHS release and/or television distribution.

It has occurred to me that perhaps Paramount did eventually issue the blooper reels as supplements on DVD (or earlier homevideo format). If so, and if Paramount put on a copyright notice stating that all new material on the tape or disc is copyrighted effective the year of the homevideo edition, they did what they needed to for copyright purposes. This assumes they did so on the first authorized release and assumes also that they hadn't neglected legal action in the past to such an extent that copyright was abandoned. If Paramount's release of the bloopers (if any--I frankly don't know if there has been any authorized release of the bloopers) first occurred during the DVD era, copyright notice and registration wouldn't even be necessary (owing to the change in the laws).

This post was modified by Fact_Checker on 2009-08-14 22:19:40

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Poster: Fact_Checker Date: Aug 14, 2009 3:23pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: titles sold at K-Mart

Guyzilla wrote: "The work in question shows up in no less than four bloopers vhs tapes I have in my collection, three of which were bought in reputable retail stores like K-mart, and another tape bought through mail order from Something Weird Video during their "pre-Image" days, so these are more likely to be PD."

K-Mart and a lot of other reputable stores sold VHS copies from PD labels of such titles as "March of the Wooden Soldiers" although they were infringements of "Babes in Toyland" (I wrote about this in another IA thread within the last two weeks or so) and the Charlie Chan "Meeting at Midnight" although that is an infringement of "Black Magic." Both are cases of a film with a newer title infringing on a copyright validly renewed. The K-Mart factor doesn't make something sold there legit. More likely than a tape sold mail-order from a PO box, yes, but not a guarantee.

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Aug 14, 2009 5:18pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: titles sold at K-Mart

I never really thought that a video purchased in K-mart automatically meant that a product was legit, especially after what knowledge I've managed to pick up the last couple of months or so since I started contributing movies and clips. In fact, if I had gotten around to these bloopers two months ago, I might have gone ahead and put them up without asking anyone anything. Now that I know better, no, I won't upload, not without checking here first. Back when I bought these videos years ago, I didn't understand the concept of copyright at all. It's too bad, really, these clips are pretty funny. But If they're not PD, then they're not PD. When I put something up here, I want it to stay. I don't want to go to the trouble of editing, converting, and uploading something if I have to take it down later. That's wasted effort, and I'm not into that. Thanks for all the input, everybody. It was very educational.

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Aug 14, 2009 4:44am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are Star Trek Bloopers OK?

I think the episodes that Fact_Checker was refering to were the first season episode which were all broadcast without copyright notices. A number of video companies in the 1980s used network prints to master VHS collections of first season episodes like "The Menagerie Parts 1 & 2" "The Carbomite Manouvre", etc.

Paramount successfully argued that these were unpublished works because Paramount had rigourous print return mechanisms (but where did companies like Paladin Promotions get their well worn network prints?) with strict network agreements as to the authorised uses of the prints and had thus never given up control.

Having released many of these episodes on VHS themselves, before March 1 1989 and still without notice or registration, Paramount now relies on trademark and patent infringement threats in their C&Ds regarding the first season episodes.

On the subject of the blooper reels. I have copies of them and as far as I know they have never been Authorised for release. I do know of one Australian video company that felt the wrath of a letter from the Viacom lawyers. They had edited the reels into a tape with an interview with William Shatner. I wouldn't consider the reels a safe PD bet.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2009-08-14 11:44:00

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Aug 14, 2009 9:08am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are Star Trek Bloopers OK?

Well, that settles that. Guess I'll have to leave them alone. It's ok, I got lots of other things coming up.

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Poster: Fact_Checker Date: Aug 18, 2009 3:20pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Star Trek first-season copyright notices

Video-Cellar wrote: "... the first season episode[s] which were all broadcast without copyright notices. A number of video companies in the 1980s used network prints to master VHS collections of first season episodes like 'The Menagerie Parts 1 & 2' 'The Carbomite Manouvre', etc."

Like Video-Cellar, I understood that the first-season "Star Trek" episodes had been first broadcast without copyright notices. However, an interesting remark comes up in a judge's remarks in a 1981 case where a "Star Trek" episode was copied without authorization. See:

http://chart.copyrightdata.com/c02F.html#s131

The CopyrightData.com summary doesn't say that "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is a "Star Trek" episode, but I happen to know that it is (and that it was copied by the defendant). The judge's quote concerning a copyright notice on that episode is interesting. According to the judge, there was blank leader separating the final credits from the notice, and the defendant acknowledge this, although the defendant claimed the notice was defective because of the blank leader and the notice not being on the credits.

Okay, I realize that "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is a third-season episode and not a first-season episode, but if a copyright notice was present but being missed on a third-season episode, mightn't it have been placed on the leader in first-season episodes as well--where it was missed by viewers? As much as such a placement of the notice may seem wrong, the judge in the 1981 case said about the defendant's argument: "This contention does not have merit. ... The distributor placed the notice in a proper location ... 'Battlefield' is validly copyrighted."

The Code of Federal Regulation for at least the last several years has said that copyright notices cannot be on the leader unless the work is a minute in length or less. Does anyone know if this was the rule in 1981 or 1969?

Video-Cellar also says:

"Having released many of these episodes on VHS themselves, before March 1 1989 and still without notice or registration, Paramount now relies on trademark and patent infringement threats in their C&Ds regarding the first season episodes."

I am going to say straight out that I've never seen the Paramount VHS copies of any "Star Trek" episodes and I don't know whether they have copyright notices on them or not. I'll take Video-Cellar's word for it that the first-season VHS copies don't. I do figure that Paramount didn't release them on VHS until after 1981, because not much was released by major production companies before that. What I have to wonder is: if Paramount knew from the 1981 verdict that their "Star Trek" episodes were being copied without authorization because pd companies didn't see any notices, and if Paramount was just handed a verdict by a judge saying that what saved their copyright was a copyright notice which was printed on the leader or otherwise shows up after some blank leader, and since anyone with half a brain would have to realize that the leader or any notice that flashes onscreen after some leader wouldn't get transferred to video -- what could have been going on in the brains of people at Paramount that made them not re-do the credits to put the copyright notices on the credits, even if it just meant superimposing new notices during the video transfers. As I say, I haven't looked at the VHS versions, but I have to wonder why Paramount didn't heed the wake-up warning they got from past lawsuit(s) before engaging "Star Trek" in direct sales to consumers (since those were unmistakably a publication).

Anyone know anything about this?

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Aug 19, 2009 7:43am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Star Trek first-season copyright notices

Later season episodes generally contained a notice within the end credits. I suspect that the leader discussed may be the segment break between the end of the episode and the main closing credits.

The season one prints that I have had access to never included copyright notices in the leader. The below is an example of a season one print (episode 1 The Man Trap) front and end credits up untill the final frame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5K40QNCmSY

I may just be being cynical, but the more I look at the issue of the first season Star Trek episodes, the more it screams of corporate giant versus small company with the giant winning through size and power and not necessarily through logical application of a good legal argument. The courts application of unpublished work status to the first season episodes on the basis of the system of syndication distribution seems somewhat misguided. There must have been no way for the defendents to demonstrate the vast number of prints and tapes that were never collected from the syndication and affiliate networks or sold on by the studio to collectors. The problem of being able to demonstrate first sale has been a major issue for film collectors for a long time.

As far as I know, the rules about placement of the notice (after the beginning, before the end, with the title or in the credits) were in place in 1981.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2009-08-19 14:03:07

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2009-08-19 14:43:52